'Elizabeth,' Loren big draws at Rome festival


ROME -- The European premiere of "Elizabeth: The Golden Age" was the big event on the first full day of the RomaCinemaFest, with star Cate Blanchett and director Shekhar Kapur attracting applause from a red carpet crowd noticeably fuller than the one from opening night a day earlier.

Earlier, Sophia Loren received a standing ovation at the Sistine Theater when she was awarded a lifetime achievement award.

The festival, which concludes Oct. 27, got under way Thursday with a limited schedule. But Friday featured a full lineup, with "Elizabeth" and several events related to the Focus India sidebar dominating the day.

Brad Isaacs' "Have Dreams Will Travel" and "Un Chateau en Espagne" (My Very Best Friend) from Isabelle Doval also premiered Friday, both in the Alice in the City sidebar for young moviegoers. And, after a 30-minute documentary on her career, Loren charmed a standing-room-only crowd with anecdotes from her early years in the film business.

The weekend schedule in Rome is expected to attract even more attention, with the world premiere of Francis Ford Coppola's first film in a decade -- "Youth Without Youth" -- and the European premiere of Francois Girard's "Silk," starring Keira Knightley and Michael Pitt, on tap.